You may have seen the news that Dr. Chalres Stanley has passed from this earthly life. However, what you may not know is the impact he had directly on this ministry.
In case you didn’t know who he was, Charles Stanley (born September 25, 1932 – died April 18, 2023), American pastor, author, and founder of In Touch Ministries, passed away on Tuesday at his home in Atlanta, Georgia. For 50 years, he was senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta and President of In Touch Ministries, which shared his sermons via radio and television.
Born in Dry Fork, Virginia, Stanley grew up without a father. His mother raised him, and by age 14, he felt called to full-time ministry. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Richmond in Virginia and later a Master of Divinity at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Texas. He also earned a doctorate from Luther Rice Seminary in Florida.
Dr. Stanley was a Baptist minister and served as pastor of Fruitland Baptist near Hendersonville, North Carolina (1957-1959); First Baptist Church of Fairborn, Ohio (1959-1962); First Baptist of Miami, Florida (1962-1968); and First Baptist of Bartow, Alabama ( 1968-1969). He then became associate pastor of First Baptist of Atlanta on October 1, 1969. (Keep reading to see the relationship to this ministry.)
Life And Work
Stanley is the founder and president of InTouch Ministries, a global gospel program that reaches over 1800 radio and television stations worldwide. He was well known for his practical and biblically-based teachings, demonstrating a keen awareness of people’s needs and providing Christ-centered principles for everyday living.
His family includes his son Andy Stanley, a pastor at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia; daughter Rebecca Stanley Broderson; and six grandchildren. A half-sister also survives him, Susie Cox.
There will be many, many folks that will share their personal story of his impact on their lives. He, throughout his life, impacted literally millions of people around the world. Through his preaching, teaching, writing, and his beloved photography, he connected with people and pointed them to a deeper relationship with Christ.
Connection to New Dimensions Evangelism
Dr. Stanley and I met through my mentor, Felix Snipes. Felix, his wife Patsy, and Charles are having a great reunion today! Felix was on the pastoral search committee at First Baptist Atlanta. You can hear him tell the story of calling Charles to FBA here.
After Charles accepted the associate position, he and his family lived with Felix & his family for a few weeks.
Years ago, I visited FBA with Felix one Sunday morning. Between services, I was invited back to meet Dr. Stanley. He was very kind and encouraging to me about Felix passing his ministry using magic shows to share the Gospel. And allowed me to use his quote—which is on this website:
“I highly recommend a unique and very effective ministry! A Christ honoring and scriptural presentation. It will be one of the strongest statements against the occult that you will ever see!”
Undoubtedly, that helped many pastors “trust” my work and invited me into the pulpit. A few years later, and after Felix’s passing, during his service at FBA, Dr. Stanley was seated behind me—and I could hear him praying for me as I spoke. Afterward, I told my dad, who had driven down from Tennessee, to be with me, “Mark it down, pop! That might be the only time Dr. Stanley & I shared the platform & pulpit!” It was.
Dr. Stanley’s friendship with Felix generated momentum for this ministry, which I am now a steward of for a time, to blossom and grow. His kindness and encouragement of Felix was a game changer. His Christ-kindness toward me—inviting me to visit with him between services, to speak & perform for one of the church’s groups, even having his team invite me on to a Christian talk show in Atlanta, all of those things—and his belief & trust were a tremendous blessing for me, personally.
I am smiling today and thinking of the friendship of Dr. Stanley & Felix, and Patsy that they are reunited again.
Thank you, Dr. Stanley, for trusting in friends, encouraging millions worldwide, and motivating me personally. Thank you for your steadfastness in your faith.
Dr. Stanley’s theme, which was repeated throughout his ministry, was, ” “Obey God and leave all the consequences to him.” See a video here of this powerful truth.
Sharing His Wonder,